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GB potato plantings up 4%

Publication Date: 
8 July 2016

Arthur Marshall, Analyst, arthur.marshall@ahdb.org.uk, 02476 478 956

The first estimate of total potato plantings for the 2016 crop year in Great Britain from AHDB Potatoes is 116,000ha*. This is up around 4% on the final 2015 planting figure of 111,000ha but is still the second-lowest planted area on record. This initial estimate is provisional, being based on a sample covering 66% of producers by area. As with all estimates based on a sample, results should be treated with caution as, despite every effort to make the sample as representative as possible, there is a possibility that the planting decisions made by those not included in the sample may differ from those who are included.

In last week’s Potato Weekly (Friday 1 July), we considered that if yields return to a five-year average (inc. 2012), there would have had to have been an 8% increase in area to maintain production equal to 2015. However, the latest estimate suggests that the area has not increased by that amount. Of course, the wide range of yields achieved in the past five years means that production could actually end up higher or lower than last year.

The table above shows a range of feasible production outcomes based on the latest estimate of a 4% area increase and different yield scenarios. As the table shows, if a five-year average yield (inc. 2012) of 45.2t/ha was achieved, this would result in a 3% decrease, while if 2012 was excluded from the five-year average, production would have a marginal increase of only 1%.

The table also shows that an average yield of 46.8t/ha would be needed this season to maintain production at the same level as last year. This is a higher yield than 2010, 2012 and 2013, but lower than 2009, 2011, 2014 and 2015.

As we get further through the summer and start to build a better picture of the coming season, we will be able to get a clearer understanding of the situation. Look out for more analysis in Potato Weekly and online at potatoes.ahdb.org.uk in the coming weeks and months.

 

*Statistical 95% confidence limits for the estimate are ±1.3%, implying that the final figure for 2016 could lie anywhere in the range from 114,500 to 117,500 ha. 

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